Dilla Week: Video Vault, Episode 26

We wrap up Dilla Week, in celebration of #93 in the 33 1/3 series, J Dilla’s Donuts by Jordan Ferguson (out now!), with our perennial favorite feature: the video vault. Enjoy, and thanks to Jordan for his hard and thoughtful work! Deciding on a video to wrap up Donuts week proved more difficult than I was expecting. I wanted to hand the spotlight to the man himself, but considering the nature of the album and the circumstances of its creation, there aren’t any official videos or live footage of its…

Dilla Week: Dilla’s Still Here

Welcome back to Dilla Week, in celebration of #93 in the 33 1/3 series, J Dilla’s Donuts by Jordan Ferguson (out now!). Today, Jordan speaks to the enormous staying power of Dilla’s work, long after the man himself is gone. One of the things that continues to amaze me about J Dilla (and there are many) is that for a man who passed away over eight years ago, his influence is felt as much today as it was when he was alive, if not more. His aesthetic can be heard…

Dilla Week: Dilla Taught Me

Welcome back to Dilla Week, in celebration of #93 in the 33 1/3 series, J Dilla’s Donuts by Jordan Ferguson (out now!). Today, Jordan talks about lessons in life and music courtesy James Yancey. In my experience, there are two types of hip-hop fans: one type appreciates the music as it is, and is content to enjoy it on its own merits; the other feels compelled to dig into the workings of the music, to discover the sample sources and investigate how DJs and producers have used them to create…

Dilla Week: Best vs. Most Interesting

Welcome to Dilla Week, in celebration of #93 in the 33 1/3 series, J Dilla’s Donuts by Jordan Ferguson (out now!). We rejoin our author in his thoughts on “best” vs. “most interesting” when it comes to Dilla. Donuts is not J Dilla’s best work. “Blasphemy!” you scream. “How can you say that?! You wrote an entire book on this album! You listened to it literally hundreds of times!” Yes, I did. I continue to listen to it happily. I wanted to write about it because I find it his…

Dilla Week: Authority

Welcome to Dilla Week, in celebration of #93 in the 33 1/3 series, J Dilla’s Donuts by Jordan Ferguson (out now!). In the first of five posts, Ferguson addresses questions of authorial authority and the considerable legacy of Dilla’s life and work. How does “Jordan Ferguson” have the credentials to write this? Just curious. – Comment posted to the J Dilla Facebook page, March 13, 2014. I can’t fault the guy for asking the question. Fans are notoriously protective of J Dilla’s legacy, and had I been in his position…

Let’s Talk About Love Week: Video Vault, Episode 25

We wrap up Let’s Talk About Love Week with a video vault to end all video vaults. Carl’s analysis of the relationship between Celine Dion and schmaltz is one of the defining features of LTAL, and it’s revisited often by contributors to the revised and expanded edition. Herein, Carl takes another look at schmaltz, complete with video evidence. Hold onto your seats. Video Vault: A Brief History of Schmaltz by Carl Wilson The main text of Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste is divided into…

Let’s Talk About Love Week: Excerpt: Giving Up On Giving Up on Good Taste by Jonathan Sterne

Welcome back to Let’s Talk About Love Week. On Day 4 we visit an excerpt from one of the essays that make up the revised and expanded edition, this one from renowned Sound Studies scholar Jonathan Sterne. It’s easy to overlook that all our experiences of art works are mediated by the physical forms and devices that embody them, which have their own designs and subtexts. Jonathan Sterne’s expertise on the ever-evolving history of communications brings that element to the foreground. Sterne is a Montrealer who teaches in the Art History and Communications Studies program at…

Let’s Talk About Love Week: The Sound of Post-Taste Pop: Future Islands play “Seasons (Waiting on You)” on David Letterman, March 2014

Welcome to Let’s Talk About Love Week, in celebration of the new edition of our now-classic 33 1/3 title by Carl Wilson (affectionately referred to as LTAL around these parts). In this newly released expanded text, Carl’s original groundbreaking treatise on taste is joined by the reflections of numerous other writers, musicians, and tastemakers, including Nick Hornby, James Franco, Sheila Heti, Ann Powers, Owen Pallett, Krist Novoselic, Mary Gaitskill, and more. Carl was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule (as the Slate music critic, among other bonafides)…

Jerry Lee Lewis and Live! At The Star-Club: Fifty Years Later

Author of Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found, Joe Bonomo, looks back at the album that inspired his book fifty years later, with a chance to win a copy of the book signed by Lewis himself. Six years ago, I happily accepted editor David Barker’s invitation to write a book about Jerry Lee Lewis’s Live! At The Star-Club album, released in 1964. Lost and Found, which bookends a history of the Star-Club and the recording of the album with examinations of Lewis’s tumultuous career before and after the mid-1960s, was…

Richard Hell Week: The Blank Generation Abecedary, Vol. 5

Rounding out Richard Hell Week, in celebration of our newly published 33 1/3 title on Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation by Pete Astor, with the final entry in the Blank Generation abecedary. And if you’re hungry for more, remember that the book is available now! W is for website: http://www.richardhell.com is a fantastic site. Having been schooled in the ways of the early mimeographed DIY poetry ‘zines of his poetry heroes Ted Berrigan et al, Hell was an early participant in the online world, disseminating his ideas, building…